This summary is provided by the STA:
Slovenia confirms 55 Covid-19 deaths, 1,292 new coronavirus cases
LJUBLJANA - A total of 1,292 coronavirus cases were confirmed in 5,868 tests on Monday and 55 Covid-19 patients died, bringing the death toll to 1,490. The number of new cases is slightly lower than a week ago and the positivity rate, at 22%, follows a gradual downward trajectory recorded in recent days. A total of 1,299 patients were in hospital, one more than the day before, of which 210 in intensive care, up by five. The number of all registered coronavirus cases has reached 77,106.
OECD upgrades Slovenia forecast for 2020, outlook for 2021 worse
PARIS, France - The OECD slightly upgraded its forecast for Slovenia's GDP in 2020, projecting that it will fall by 7.5% this year, while also downgrading the expected rebound in 2020, to 3.4%. In June, the OECD said that Slovenia's economy was expected to shrink by 7.8% this year, and then grow by 4.5%. In the latest report, it says that the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic would continue to disturb economic activity until at least mid-2021.
PETA approved cork bags, wallets and purses at CORK.SI
Calls for retraction as govt suspends financing of STA
LJUBLJANA - The government on Monday accepted information from the Government Communication Office (UKOM) that it had not been able to implement the contract with the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) for 2020 and to conclude a contract for 2021. As a result the STA has not received from UKOM the monthly payment for the performance of public service for October. The management said the agency's future work was threatened, but pledged it would continue its mission. The junior coalition partners DeSUS and SMC demanded for the decision to be retracted and the NSi asked for explanations, while the centre-left opposition labelled it an attack on media freedom and democracy. UKOM's move was also condemned by the Slovenian Journalists' Association and the Trade Union of Slovenian Journalists.
FM comments on new Wise Men report to improve NATO
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Foreign Minister Anže Logar commented on the latest NATO report by a group of experts or the so-called new wise men as he attended a meeting of allied foreign ministers where the document was presented. Logar said that proactive communication was the best guarantee for mutual solidarity and unity in the Alliance. He called for a new strategic concept of the Alliance that would consolidate views on emerging threats and enable informed and swift decisions.
Logar to discuss Italy's Adriatic Sea plans in Rome next week
LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Anže Logar will discuss Italy's plans for an exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic Sea during his visit to Rome on 10 December after Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio announced the plan in Zagreb on Monday. The Slovenian Foreign Ministry said it "shares the concern of all other countries along the Adriatic Sea for a comprehensive protection of the Adriatic Sea", supporting "all efforts regrading the different ways in which this protection could be implemented".
Worries about EU recovery package uncalled for, says Šircelj
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Finance Minister Andrej Šircelj sought to alleviate concerns about the stall in the passage of the EU recovery package due to Poland and Hungary blocking the deal because of rule of law provisions. He believes a solution will be reached, while pointing to contingency plans. Talking with Slovenian correspondents in Brussels by videolink after a virtual meeting of EU finance ministers, Šircelj said: "We have contingency plans for whatever may happen so there's no need to worry."
Debate hears optimism for renewed transatlantic relations
LJUBLJANA - There are high hopes for relaunching transatlantic relations after Joe Biden's win in the US presidential election, a debate held by the European Parliament Information Office in Slovenia heard. Participants, including US Democratic senator Bob Menendez, several MEPs and former High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, said that respect for human rights, the rule of law and liberal democracy was again becoming key on both sides of the Atlantic.
Justice minister talks Slovenia EU presidency plans with commissioner
LJUBLJANA - Justice Minister Lilijana Kozlovič held a video conference with European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders focusing on plans for Slovenia's presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2021, challenges related to the European Public Prosecutor's Office, digitalisation of the justice system and justice cooperation. A release issued by the Justice Ministry said Slovenia would resume the work done by the German and Portuguese presidencies during its spell at the presidency in the field of justice.
Proposal on changes to electoral law presented
LJUBLJANA - Public Administration Minister Boštjan Koritnik presented a redistricting proposal to amend the electoral law to implement a 2018 Constitutional Court ruling. The proposal will be sent to coalition deputy groups, which have not agreed on the matter yet. Koritnik said the proposal was based on the current law and introduced changes only in those parts that had been deemed problematic by the Constitutional Court, including roughly the same number of residents and keeping geographic units as well as shared cultural and other characteristics in a single district.
Rail operator's tie-up with Czech holding gets final nod
LJUBLJANA - Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) approved the plan by the state-owned rail operator Slovenske Železnice to sign a strategic partnership between its cargo division and the Prague-based EP Holding. SSH said the goal was long-term growth and development of the transport and logistics activity. Under the terms of the deal, SŽ - Tovorni Promet and EP Logistics International intend to establish a joint venture, onto which Slovenske Železnice would transfer the assets of its cargo subsidiary. The Czech partner will hold 49% in the joint venture via a capital injection reported to be in the EUR 60-100 million range.
SSH looking at EUR 86 million in dividend yield for 2019
LJUBLJANA - Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) plans to collect EUR 85.9 million in dividends from state-owned companies for last year, which is significantly less than the originally planned EUR 142 million, as certain payouts have been suspended by regulators in relation to the coronavirus crisis. "This does not mean that this difference has been lost for good. This goes into distributable profits of companies, decisions on which may be made in the coming years," SSH management board advisor Vanessa Grmek told the Finance Committee.
Iskraemeco working on advanced project with Iceland's Veitur
KRANJ - Electricity meter maker Iskraemeco has signed a contract with Iceland's largest power distributor Veitur on an advanced smart metering project that will allow Veitur to transform electricity, heat and water networks into a sustainable smart network. Using Iskraemeco's solution Energy IoT, Veitur will improve its efficiency through digitalisation and service development. Iskraemeco will provide solutions for remotely-operated metering points and service management for the entire Veitur.
Slovenia slips to 16th place in Global Sustainable Competitiveness Index
SEOUL, South Korea - Slovenia slipped three spots to rank 16th among 180 countries in the latest Global Sustainable Competitiveness Index compiled by Solability, a sustainability think-tank. However, the country improved its score, going from 53.8 to 55.9 points. Slovenia fared the best in governance efficiency, where it retained third place, and it improved its ranking in social capital and natural capital, but it slipped in intellectual capital and resource management.
Covid-19 epidemic affects HIV prevention efforts
LJUBLJANA - Slovenian health authorities warned on World AIDS Day that HIV infections remain a major public health issue despite recent successes. The epidemic has also somewhat slowed the pace of testing, resulting in fewer detected cases. According to the infectious diseases department of the UKC Ljubljana hospital, ten HIV patients have contracted the new coronavirus. Two of them were hospitalised, including one in intensive care. A total of 28 new HIV infections were recorded by 20 November this year, six fewer than in the entire 2019 and fewer than in any year in the last decade.
Police crack down on major business fraud scheme
NOVO MESTO - The Novo Mesto police presented the conclusions of a multi-year investigation into a major business fraud scheme in the Posavje and Dolenjska regions. They filed criminal complaints against a number of suspects, including companies, for causing damage to creditors, violating basic workers' rights, forgery, and tax evasion, among other crimes. The suspects, including citizens of Kosovo, and companies caused more than EUR 8.2 million in damage.
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